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Rice Patties – Recipe for Left Over Rice – Making Rice Fritters

These left over rice patties are crunchy and savory with a fresh flavor that comes from a variety of garden herbs.

I got a rice cooker a while ago and now I make rice all the time. When I prepare it, I usually make extra servings so that I can have some leftover rice on hand to use in other recipes.

Left over rice is very versatile and can be used for fried rice, stuffed peppers, Mediterranean salads, vegetarian recipes, and all sorts of other dishes.

Do you ever wonder what to do with left over rice? You are in luck. Today, we’ll be turning the left over rice into delicious rice fritters that you can serve as a meatless Monday side dish with any protein.
Rice fritters with spring onions and a fork on a white plate.

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Do you have some left over rice in your fridge? Don't throw it away. Use that rice to make cheesy rice fritters. Head to The Gardening Cook for the recipe. #leftovers #ricepatties Share on X

What is a fritter?

Fritters are portions of meat, vegetables or other ingredients which are breaded and deep fried. They can be either savory or sweet.

This tasty recipe is found in many cuisines, from French beignets to Greek loukoumades and Italian fritto mistos.

The fritters that are featured in this recipe are probably better known as rice patties, since they are pan fried. However, the batter typically found on rice patties is omitted in this recipe, to save calories.

How to make rice patties

These savory rice fritters tastes similar to potato pancakes, but they are even easier to make since there are no potatoes to peel! This is the perfect way to use up stale rice and garden onions.

The rice patty recipe is easy to do and ready in less than 20 minutes. Best of all, you can be double the recipe if needed for a big gathering.

Ingredients for leftover rice patties, - onion, herbs and egg with cornstarch and rice.

Gather your ingredients.  I normally use these items in my rice fritters:

  • left over rice
  • yellow onion
  • fresh herbs – I use parsley, thyme and oregano
  • egg
  • cornstarch
  • kosher salt

Cheddar cheese with rice, herbs and cornstarch

Today, I also added fat free cheddar cheese to add flavor and give some extra binding to the patties while still keeping the calorie content down.

Chopped onions and herbs for a rice patty recipe

Start by dicing the onion very finely and chopping the fresh herbs

Combine the rice with the cornstarch, onions, herbs and egg. The mixture will be quite sticky but that is what you want. It means the rice patties will stick together well and not fall apart when you pan fry them!

Rice, egg and herb mixture for a rice fritters recipe.

Normally, when I make fritters my hands are sticky and messy. Today, I tried something new. I used a muffin scoop!

The scoop is the perfect size for these rice fritters and when you flatten the mixture in the scoop, it makes the patty for you.

Just a small push of the hand and the patty is ready for the pan and you don’t have messy hands!

Making rice patties with a muffin scoop.

Once the cheesy rice fritters have been formed, heat some oil over medium high heat until it is hot.

Place the rice patties in the pan and fry until lightly browned – about 5 minutes per side.

Frying rice patties in oil

Don’t crowd the pan. This recipe makes 8 patties so I cooked it in two batches. I used a large pan to make 6 patties at one time.

When they were done, I cooked the other two. Not only does this ensure more even cooking, but it also makes it much easier to flip the fritters.

TIP:  to make flipping the patties easier, I used a pan with sloped sides. Then I used a spatula to push the patty up the side of the pan where it was very easy to flip it without breaking.

Serve the left over rice pancakes immediately, garnished with spring onions for an extra fresh onion taste.

How do the rice fritters taste?

My whole family loved the flavor of this rice fritters recipe. They are savory and fresh from the garden herbs with a comforting taste of cheddar cheese and tang of onions. The crunchy texture is the best part of these fritters. 

Fried rice patties on a plate with spring onions.

If you enjoy those last bits of crispy rice, then you will love these delicious fritters!

Once the fried rice patties are made, you can use them as a side dish with a protein. You could also serve them as a vegetarian lunch along with salsaguacamolehummus or anything else that has a spicy or savory flavor.

How many calories does a rice fritter have?

A standard, deep fried, battered fritter has 300-400 calories.

These lightened up pan fried rice fritters have much less – they work out to 149 calories each with 8 grams of fat, 16 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of protein.

Pin this post for rice patties

Would you like a reminder of this post for what to do with left over rice? Just pin this image to one of your cooking boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.

Rice patties on a plate with fork and spring onions and words Left Over Rice Fritters.

Admin note: this post for left over rice recipes first appeared on the blog in April of 2013. I have updated the post to add all new photos, a printable recipe card with nutrition, and a video for you to enjoy.

Yield: 8 patties

Rice Patties - How to Make Rice Fritters

Rice Patties - How to Make Rice Fritters

Turn left over rice into a delicious side dish with this easy recipe for cheesy fried rice patties.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 2 cups cooked rice, any type
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1/3 cup fat free cheddar cheese


  1. Dice the onion finely and chop the fresh herbs.
  2. Combine the left over rice, egg, fresh herbs, fat free cheese, onion and cornstarch. Mix well.
  3. Using a muffin scoop, scoop out the mixture and press first and then release on a cutting board to make patties. Flatten slightly with your fingers.
  4. In a frying pan with curved side, heat oil for shallow frying.
  5. When the oil is hot, add the patties, pressing down slightly to form a flat fritter. Don't crowd the pan.
  6. Fry one side until golden brown for about 5 minutes and flip.
  7. Drain fritters on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
  8. Serve with salsa, guacamole, hummus or anything else that has a spicy fresh flavor.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 149Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 214mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g

Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.

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Sunday 4th of February 2024

These are not sticking together. Maybe because my rice was refrigerated?

Carol Speake

Sunday 4th of February 2024

That could be the case. My rice was at room temp. A bit more egg might make them stick better.


Thursday 19th of January 2023

Oh my, these are wicked good. I added some leftover kielbasa cut up very small. I think I might put in extra cheese next time. They were great with salsa, and also good with sriracha mayo.

It was fun that they seemed like they were going to fall apart when I scooped them out at first, but they hung together after frying.

One question: how do you store and reheat them if there are any left? We reheated them in the oven and they got too crispy.

Thanks for the recipe!

Carol Speake

Sunday 22nd of January 2023

Glad you enjoyed the recipe! I['ve never had to reheat them so can't give advice on this.


Monday 2nd of January 2023

On the ingredients and instructions it doesn't say anything about the cheese?

Carol Speake

Monday 2nd of January 2023

Hi Hayley. Thanks for pointing out my oversight. I redid the photos and added the cheese to the recipe but forgot to update the recipe card. It is fixed now.

Margaret Lillis

Thursday 19th of November 2020

These are delicious!


Tuesday 20th of October 2020

Delish! I added shredded cheese, o so good.

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